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Med Law. 2010 Jun;29(2):217-26.

Legal protection of informed consent of minors.

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University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.


One of the pillars of healthcare provision is respect for the autonomy of the patient's wishes, which is given substance by the process of obtaining informed consent. Minors deserve special protection, entitled to basic rights and increasingly autonomous as they develop. In certain situations, minors are deemed matures and able to consent to treatment without the involvement of a parent or guardian. The assessment of competence would be based on the child's functional ability, not on age or outcome of the decision. This manuscript includes a brief analysis of legal perspectives on informed consent of minors, and minors' capacities to make medical decisions. Remaining questions of how to evaluate capacity and balance parental and minor autonomy are explored. Considerations on informed consent in different situations as refusing treatment and termination of pregnancy by female children are analyzed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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